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ASCP Members' Books 2018

The ASCP community is prolific in producing work that encompasses a variety of areas of scholarship in Continental Philosophy. The following book descriptions provide some recent examples of this work published in 2018.

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Paolo Diego Bubbio, Intellectual Sacrifice and Other Mimetic Paradoxes (Michigan State University Press: 2018)

'Intellectual Sacrifice and Other Mimetic Paradoxes' is an account of Paolo Diego Bubbio’s twenty-year intellectual journey through the twists and turns of Girard’s mimetic theory. The author analyzes philosophy and religion as “enemy sisters” engaged in an endless competitive struggle and identifies the intellectual space where this rivalry can either be perpetuated or come to a paradoxical resolution. He goes on to explore topics ranging from arguments for the existence of God to mimetic theory’s post-Kantian legacy, political implications, and capacity for identifying epochal phenomena, such as the crisis of the self, in popular culture. Bubbio concludes by advocating for an encounter between mimetic theory and contemporary philosophical hermeneutics—an encounter in which each approach benefits and is enriched by the resources of the other. The volume features a previously unpublished letter by René Girard on the relationship between philosophy and religion.

http://msupress.org/books/book/?id=50-1D0-4460

Review: https://violenceandreligion.com/publications/bulletin-55-february-2018

 

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Christophe Dejours, Jean-Philippe Deranty, Emmanuel Renault, and Nicholas H. Smith, The Return of Work in Critical Theory: Self, Society, Politics (Columbia University Press: 2018)

From John Maynard Keynes’s prediction of a fifteen-hour workweek to present-day speculation about automation, we have not stopped forecasting the end of work. Critical theory and political philosophy have turned their attention away from the workplace to focus on other realms of domination and emancipation. But far from coming to an end, work continues to occupy a central place in our lives. This is not only because of the amount of time people spend on the job. Many of our deepest hopes and fears are bound up in our labor—what jobs we perform, how we relate to others, how we might flourish.

The Return of Work in Critical Theory presents a bold new account of the human significance of work and the human costs of contemporary forms of work organization. A collaboration among experts in philosophy, social theory, and clinical psychology, it brings together empirical research with incisive analysis of the political stakes of contemporary work. The Return of Work in Critical Theory begins by looking in detail at the ways in which work today fails to meet our expectations. It then sketches a phenomenological description of work and examines the normative premises that underlie the experience of work. Finally, it puts forward a novel conception of work that can renew critical theory’s engagement with work and point toward possibilities for transformation. Inspired by Max Horkheimer’s vision of critical theory as empirically informed reflection on the sources of social suffering with emancipatory intent, The Return of Work in Critical Theory is a lucid diagnosis of the malaise and pathologies of contemporary work that proposes powerful remedies. 

https://cup.columbia.edu/book/the-return-of-work-in-critical-theory/9780231187282

 

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Rosalyn Diprose & Ewa Plonowska Ziarek, Arendt, Natality and Biopolitics: Toward Democratic Plurality and Reproductive Justice (Edinburgh University Press: 2018)

In Arendt, Natality and Biopolitics Rosalyn Diprose and Ewa Plonowska Ziarek provide a reconfirguration of Hannah Arendt’s philosophy of natality from the perspective of biopolitical and feminist theory. They show that Arendt provides unique ways of contesting both biopolitical threats to human plurality (posed by, for example, harsh treatment of immigrants and refugees) and biopolitical targeting of women’s reproductive agency. They also extend Arendt’s account of collective political action to include consideration of political hospitality, responsibility and story-telling as ways of countering the harms of biopower. The book offers an insightful account of Arendt’s political ontology that includes new dialogues between her and major twentieth-century and contemporary thinkers including Foucault, Agamben, Nancy, Kristeva, Esposito, Derrida, Levinas and Cavarero.

https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-arendt-natality-and-biopolitics.html

 

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Mark Kelly, For Foucault: Against Normative Political Theory (SUNY: 2018)

This book comprises a series of staged confrontations between the thought of Michel Foucault and a cast of other figures in European and Anglophone political philosophy, including Marx, Lenin, Althusser, Deleuze, Rorty, Honneth, and Geuss. Focusing on the status of normativity in their thought, Mark G. E. Kelly explains how Foucault’s position in relation to political theory is different, and, over the course of the book, describes a distinctive Foucauldian stance in political thought that is maximally anti-normative, anti-theoretical, and anti-political. For Foucault aims to undermine attempts to discern the appropriate form of political action, instead putting forward a rigorously critical program for a political theory that lacks any moralizing or totalizing dimension, and serves only to side with resistance against power, and never with power itself. Looking at attempts to think radically about politics from Marx to the present day, Kelly traces a novel history of political thought as a trend of attempts to overcome the constraints of normativity, theoreticism, and subordination to public policy. He concludes by assessing and rejecting recent attempts to reclaim Foucault for a form of normative politics by associating him with neoliberalism.

http://www.sunypress.edu/p-6485-for-foucault.aspx

 

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Marguerite La Caze, Ethical Restoration after Communal Violence: The Grieving and the Unrepentant, (Lexington: 2018)

Contemporary political ethics has to face the question of how to repair relations which have broken down after crimes, oppression, and political violence. The book employs the work of European and feminist philosophers, including Jacques Derrida, Albert Camus, Simone Beauvoir, Hannah Arendt, Karl Jaspers, Jean-Paul Sartre, Giorgio Agamben, Immanuel Kant, Jean Améry, Vladimir Jankélévitch, Margaret Urban Walker and Linda Radzik to engage with historical and recent cases: the post-liberation French purge, post-genocide Rwanda and post-colonial Australia and draws out the negative and positive conditions of ethical political responses in these contexts. It develops a philosophical account of ethical restoration through focusing on just punishment, guilt and shame, rebuilding political trust, forgiveness and reconciliation, remorse and atonement, and self-forgiveness. 

https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781498526692/Ethical-Restoration-after-Communal-Violence-The-Grieving-and-the-Unrepentant

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La Caze, Marguerite (ed.), Phenomenology and Forgiveness, (Rowmand and Littlefield International: 2018)

Forgiveness—either needing or wanting to be forgiven, or trying to forgive another—is a near-universal experience and one of endless fascination. This volume mines the work of phenomenologists and the methods of phenomenology to extend and deepen our understanding of these complex experiences. 

Interest in the phenomenon of forgiveness continues to grow, as the question of forgiveness for past injustices has become a global issue. Phenomenologists have a special contribution to make to the discussion of forgiveness, both because of the capacity to describe and analyse the richness of first-person experiences of forgiving and being forgiven, and because many of the twentieth-century phenomenologists, such as Arendt, Beauvoir, Fanon, Husserl, Levinas, Ricoeur, Sartre, and Stein, experienced first-hand the trials of war, detention, violence, exile and occupation that tested their power to forgive. 

Phenomenology and Forgiveness addresses questions such as whether it is only ethical to forgive in response to apologies and expressions of remorse or whether forgiveness is a gift, whether some acts are unforgiveable, the role of forgiveness in political life, and whether it is possible to forgive ourselves.

https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781786607782/Phenomenology-and-Forgiveness

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Mayes, Christopher, Unsettling Food Politics: Agriculture, Dispossession and Sovereignty in Australia (Roman & Littlefield International: 2018)

Over the past 25 years, activists, farmers and scholars have been arguing that the industrialized global food system erodes democracy, perpetuates injustices, undermines population health and is environmentally unsustainable. In an attempt to resist these effects, activists have proposed alternative food networks that draw on ideas and practices from pre-industrial agrarian smallholder farming, as well as contemporary peasant movements. 

This book uses current debates over Michel Foucault’s method of genealogy as a practice of critique and historical problematization of the present to reveal the historical constitution of contemporary alternative food discourses. While alternative food activists appeal to food sovereignty and agrarian discourses to counter the influence of neoliberal agricultural policies, these discourses remain entangled with colonial logics. In particular, the influence of Enlightenment ideas of improvement, colonial practices of agriculture as a means to establish ownership, and anthropocentric relations to the land. In combination with the genealogical analysis, this book brings continental political philosophy into conversation with Indigenous theories of sovereignty and alternative food discourse in order to open new spaces for thinking about food and politics in contemporary Australia.

https://www.rowmaninternational.com/book/unsettling_food_politics/3-156-6e0251e8-0a2d-4a82-990e-f95d36e1c70e

 

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